Temple Renovation, Reconstruction, Kumbabhishekam, etc. are all considered extremely noble deeds. We all should do whatever we can with respect to this and earn Punniya Karma. Whatever we offer, it may be a brick, but as long as that brick is there in that temple, we will spend that much time (thousands of years) in Kailash or Vaikuntha. Helping the poor or needy for marriage and helping perform Shiva Puja with offerings is considered very noble. The offering may be as simple as a fruit, flower, or camphor but the rewards we reap are significant.
Once, Mahaperiyava (Of the Kanchipuram Lineage) told a story that illustrates all the Punya or merit one gets by doing good deeds. In particular, Punniya (Meritorious) Karma happens when we provide help towards any good and noble cause.
A Brahmin was searching for something in a street. Upon seeing that, a person asked the Brahmin what he was searching for. The Brahmin told the person he had one paisa to buy bananas for Shiva Puja but lost it somewhere and is searching for it. Since it is getting late for the Puja, the other person offered the Brahmin one paisa for buying bananas, so the Brahmin can offer it to the Lord and complete his Puja. (In those days, we got four bananas for one paise). With that money, the Brahmin got the bananas and completed the Shiva Puja.
One day, Indra visited Yama Dharmaraja. Yama Dharmaraja lovingly welcomed Indra to his place. In Yama’s palace, there were two thrones. One was made of gold and the other in diamond. At that time, two deva vimanam’s (planes) came and out each one, a noble soul off boarded. Yama rushed to them and invited them warmly to his place. He also offered one noble soul diamond throne and the one gold throne to make them comfortable. Yama told them he considered their visit to his place as very fortunate. When Indra saw Yama’s offerings to those noble souls, he asked him, “What Punniya Karma did they do for you to shower your love? Why is one person seated in diamond throne and the other in gold throne?”
Yama Dharmaraja replied, “The one seated in golden throne is the one who did Shiva puja very sincerely every day. Due to that Punniya Karma he is seated in golden throne. The one seated in diamond throne is the one who helped him for doing Shiva puja. One day, the person seated in gold throne lost his one paise that he had kept to buy bananas for Shiva Puja. The person seated in the diamond throne is the one who gave him that one paise and helped him complete Shiva Puja. He got diamond throne for his deed”. Indra was surprised and said, “I learned from you that who does help to perform Shiva Puja accrues more Punniya karma than the one who actually performs it”. Indra took leave from Yama’s place and came to Devalokha (abode of Indra and Devas).
What needs to be noted here is, more than a person who performs Shiva puja or performs Kumbabishekam, people who help for that deed accrues more Punniya Karma. That is the reason when we hear about temple renovation, reconstruction, or kumbabishekam, we think “Let my contribution be there as well…” and provide whatever we can and earn Punniya Karma. When we contribute to temple deeds we clearly realize how much positive impact it has on our lives! People who participate in these deeds will live like a king or king itself in this birth. Whatever position they lost, they will gain it and live with respect. They will also reach the abode of Devas get a head position there and also become Devaraja. This also takes them to Moksha’s (liberation) fourth step which is called as ‘Sayujyam’. This is the step where we merge with the almighty and break our endless bondage of life and death cycle. Our 108 successive generations will prosper with health, wealth, and education equivalent to a king. Our generations will receive the highest accolades from the people living in this universe. Whoever participates in this noble deed will be treated as Deva while living here.
Till we are in human form this universe will worship us as Deva and we gain enormous respect. After abandoning our human body, we not only merge with the Supreme but also reside in Deva lokha as Devaraja for millions of years, one which can only be attained by strong thapas. Our progeny will also be involved in similar good deeds and lead a very good life. When we live in Bhoo lokha (Earth), we gain supernatural powers and will be equivalent to a Siddha Pursha. We will attain a position where no one will be equal to us. Doing these noble deeds not only helps us here but also after we renounce this human body. Our mother, father, grandmother, brother, sister or any blood relations may have passed away recently. Due to lack of Punniya Karma those Athmas may have been wandering restlessly. Some of them may have accrued enough Punniya Karma but may have been struck in Pithru Lokha (abode of ancestors) and could not take next birth and get rid of their existing karmas. Some may in Naraka lokha experiencing severe punishments. Some may be struggling to attain Moksha (Salvation). For any of our ancestors struggling in the above said positions, if we do a Sankalpam (vow) and perform a temple deed, those Atmas (Souls) attain whatever they require by the grace of Supreme within one Mandalam (48 days) after performing the Punniya Karma. This is an eternal truth that needs be realized by all of us.
(Article & Commentary Courtesy of Sri R Sundararaman)
Benefits of Temple Renovation From Ancient Texts
Agni Purana: “I will now describe the fruits of making temples for the residence of Vasudeva and other deities. Those who think of building a temple in their minds are freed from the sins of a hundred births. The construction of a temple for a deity dissipates even the sin of Brahmanicide. By building a temple one acquires the fruits of bathing at all the sacred shrines. By building a temple one goes to heaven.By building with a lakh of rupees, or a thousand, or a hundred, or fifty, a man goes where the Garuda-emblemed deity resides. By building temples for other gods, a man reaps the same fruit which he does by building one for Vishnu. Sins accumulated in seven births are dissipated even at the very commencement. On building a temple one goes to heaven; he never goes to hell. By building a temple for the Lord he takes his family, a hundred generations past and a hundred to come, to the region of Acyuta”.
Agni Purana: “Having acquired wealth and built a temple with a small portion of it, a person acquires piety and gains favors from Hari.”
Agni Purana XXXVIII, 1-50, “Even a thought of constructing a Temple is adequate to demolish sins of long-standing nature and establishing a right to reach Vaikuntha. The devotee who completes the temple construction also redeems the sins of his previous generations; indeed, his ‘pitaras’ would secure instant relief from the torments of hells and qualify for substantial dispensations.The person(s) responsible for this deed of extraordinary merit is eligible for ‘Yagna Phal’, ‘Samasta Tirthta Snaana Phal’, and ‘veera phal’. The construction of even an ‘Ekayatan’ or single one room temple would attain Swargaloka. A ‘trayayatan’ ‘mandira nirmaan’ enables reaching Brahma loka. Even when children for fun or playfulness build temples with sand would also qualify for salvation. Persons who undertake repairs, let alone construct temples new, are also eligible for attaining Mukti. Those who are responsible for constructing temples of Vishnu, Shiva, Surya or Devi become residents of those very Lokas and more significantly their family members too to share the same benefit”.
Vamana Purana: “Whoever constructs or helps to construct a Vishnu temple will protect eight generations of fathers, grandfathers, and forefathers from falling into hell.” And, “ By building a temple for Sri Madhava, one can attain the eternal spiritual world (Vaikuntha). One who offers a garden laden with fruits and flowers for the service of the Deity will attain heavenly pleasures.”
In the Tamil Siddha Tradition, temple renovation (kovil thiruppani) is one of the most sacred and meritorious acts that not only dissolves lifetimes of karmas but also blesses families with abundance on all levels.
Siddha Sage Rajakumar Swami (who spent his entire life feeding people, renovating ancient temples, and promoting Dharma) listed the following benefits of temple renovations.
- The person who gets into the act of constructing a holy temple is absolved of all their sins acquired over a thousand of their previous births.
- Even if the idea of constructing a holy temple dawns in a persons mind, they would be absolved of sins acquired over one hundred births & they would be redeemed.